Direct Action Day-16 Aug 1946

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by hit&run, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    6000 Hindus chopped and fed to dogs and vultures in a single day: Nehru omitted it from History


    Direct Action Day (16 August 1946), also known as the Great Calcutta Killings, was announced by the Muslim League Council to show the strength of Muslim feelings both to British and Congress because Muslims feared that if the British just pulled out, Muslims would surely suffer at the hands of overwhelming Hindu majority, which resulted in the worst communal riots that British India had seen.

    The Muslim League and the Indian National Congress were the two largest political parties in the Constituent Assembly of India in the 1940s. The 1946 Cabinet Mission to India for planning of the transfer of power from the British Raj to the Indian leadership proposed an initial plan of composition of the new Dominion of India and its government. However, soon an alternative plan to divide the British Raj into a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan was proposed by the Muslim League. The Congress rejected the alternative proposal outright. The Muslim League planned a general strike on 16 August, terming it as Direct Action Day, to protest this rejection and assert its demand for a separate Muslim homeland.

    Following Jinnah's declaration of 16 August as the Direct Action Day, acting on the advice of R.L. Walker, the then Chief Secretary of Bengal, the Muslim League Chief Minister of Bengal, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, requested Governor of Bengal Sir Frederick Burrows to declare a public holiday on that day. Governor Burrows agreed. Walker made this proposal with the hope that the risk of conflicts, especially those related to picketing, would be minimized if government offices, commercial houses and shops remained closed throughout Calcutta on the 16th. Bengal Congress protested against the declaration of public holiday, arguing that a holiday would enable 'the idle folks' to successfully enforce hartals in areas where the Muslim League leadership was uncertain. Congress accused the League government for "indulging in communal policies' for narrow goal".Congress leaders thought that if a public holiday was observed, its own supporters would have no choice but to close down their offices and shops, and thus be compelled against their will to lend a hand in the Muslim League's strike On 14 August, Kiron Shankar Roy, a leader of the Congress Party in the Bengal Legislative Assembly, called on Hindu shopkeepers to not observe the public holiday, and keep their businesses open in defiance of the hartal. In essence, there was an element of pride involved in that the monopolistic position that the Congress had hitherto enjoyed in imposing and enforcing hartals, strikes, etc. was being challenged. However, the League went ahead with the declaration, and Muslim newspapers published the program for the day.

    The Special Branch of Calcutta Police had sent only one Urdu shorthand reporter to the meeting, with the result that no transcript of the Chief Minister's speech is available. But the Central Intelligence Officer and a reporter, who Frederick Burrows believed was reliable, deputed by the military authorities agree on one statement (not reported at all by the Calcutta Police). The version in the former's report was—"He [the Chief Minister] had seen to police and military arrangements who would not interfere". The version of the latter's was—"He had been able to restrain the military and the police". However, the police did not receive any specific order to "hold back". So, whatever Suhrawardy may have meant to convey by this, the impression of such a statement on a largely uneducated audience is construed by some to be an open invitation to disorderindeed, many of the listeners are reported to have started attacking Hindus and looting Hindu shops as soon as they left the meeting. Subsequently, there were reports of lorries (trucks) that came down Harrison Road in Calcutta, carrying Muslim men armed with brickbats and bottles as weapons and attacking Hindu-owned shops.

    Streets of Calcutta- August 1946

    On 17 August, Syed Abdullah Farooqui, the President of Garden Reach Textile Workers' Union, along with Elian Mistry, a Muslim hooligan, led a Muslim mob into the mill compound of Kesoram Cotton Mills in the Lichubagan area of Metiabruz. The mill workers, among whom were a substantial number of Odias, used to stay in the mill compound itself. The mob began loot and wholesale massacre of the Hindu workers at the instigation of Farooqui. 500 to 800 Hindus, including 300 Oriyas were killed in the massacre. On 25 August, four survivors lodged a complaint at the Metiabruz police station against Farooqui. Biswanath Das, a Minister in the Government of Orissa, visited Lichubagan to investigate into the killings of the Oriya laborers of Kesoram Cotton Mills. Some sources put the death toll at 7,000–10,000. Some authors have claimed that most of the victims were Muslims. However, many authors claim that Hindus were the primary victim.

    The worst of the killing took place during the day on 17 August. By late afternoon soldiers brought the worst areas under control, and the army expanded its hold overnight. In the slums and other areas outside military control, however, lawlessness escalated. In the morning of 18 August, "Buses and taxis were charging about loaded with Sikhs and Hindus armed with swords, iron bars and firearms."

    Skirmishes between the communities continued for almost a week. Finally, on 21 August, Bengal was put under Viceroy's rule. 5 battalions of British troops, supported by 4 battalions of Indians and Gurkhas, were deployed in the city. Lord Wavell alleged that more British troops ought to have been called in earlier, and there is no indication that more British troops were not available. The rioting reduced on 22 August.

    There was criticism of Suhrawardy, Chief Minister in charge of the Home Portfolio in Calcutta, for being partisan and of Sir Frederick John Burrows, the British Governor of Bengal, for not having taken control of the situation. The Chief Minister spent a great deal of time in the Control Room in the Police Headquarters at Lalbazar, often attended by some of his supporters. Short of a direct order from the Governor, there was no way of preventing the Chief Minister from visiting the Control Room whenever he liked; and Governor Burrows was not prepared to give such an order, as it would clearly have indicated complete lack of faith in him.

    An important sequel to Direct Action Day was the massacre in Noakhali and Tippera districts in October 1946. News of the Great Calcutta Riot touched off the Noakhali–Tippera riot in reaction. However, the violence was different in nature from Calcutta.

    Rioting in the districts began on 10 October 1946 in the area of northern Noakhali district under Ramganj police station. The violence unleashed was described as "the organized fury of the Muslim mob". It soon engulfed the neighbouring police stations of Raipur, Lakshmipur, Begumganj and Sandip in Noakhali, and Faridganj, Hajiganj, Chandpur, Laksham and Chudagram in Tippera. The disruption caused by the widespread violence was extensive, making it difficult to accurately establish the number of casualties. Official estimates put the number of dead between 200 and 300. After the riots were stopped in Noakhali, the Muslim League claimed that only 500 Hindus were killed in the mayhem, but the survivors opined that more than 50,000 Hindus were killed. Some sources also made some extreme claim that the Hindu population in Noakhali was nearly annihilated.

    However, fortunately or misfortunately, details of this gruesome carnage got no place in most Govt. As well as privately published history books in India at the secondary level. While Pakistan education board, with a little exaggeration highlighted the reply riot of the Hindus against the Muslims post to direct action day, in a way rather vilifying Hindus and Sikhs- Indian National Congress felt it might hurt minority sentiments and either omitted the same or presented it in tiny fractions.

    A documentary on the Direct Action Day by BBC is attached herewith, giving details of the happennings on that day


    FRYCRY Regular Member

    Jun 29, 2015
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    Barely 2 - 3 lines on this in our NCERT history textbooks.
  4. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

    Apr 29, 2015
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    21°N 78°E / 21°N 78°E
    Was just thinking over it.:hmm:
    Chinese hate Japan from hearts, too much, whenever I meet them on social sites given atrocities by them in China.
    Same can't be said about who have nearly no sentiments about foreign invaders, be them British, French or mid eastern.

    Instead our textbooks make them heroes.

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